To Avoid Falling on Ice, Do as Penguins Do

Don't stick with your usual stride: waddle instead
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2015 2:40 PM CST
To Avoid Falling on Ice, Do as Penguins Do
This photo shows king penguins at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, a new attraction at SeaWorld Orlando.   (AP Photo/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.)

If anyone's an expert at walking in icy conditions, it's penguins—so it only makes sense that we should follow their example to stay safe. An infographic from Tablet explains it: Prevent slipping by focusing your center of gravity "over your front leg." That's instead of dividing your weight between two legs at angles that increase the risk of slipping. Widening your stance a bit will help, too. In other words, waddle, as Today puts it.

We can't quite imitate penguins when it comes to feet, but we can choose footwear with good treads, KRMG suggests. And if the worst happens and you realize you're about to fall, just keep in mind the phrase "tuck and roll." Basically, you want to shrink into a ball rather than shooting your hands out, which could put you in danger of breaking an arm. Ensure, of course, that your face is protected, and aim to hit the ground with a softer section of your body—not your spine or knees. (Walking might be tougher for us humans than it is for penguins, but at least we can taste our own food.)

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